Zlatko Dalić

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Zlatko Dalić
Zlatko Dalić Croatia (cropped).jpg
Dalić with Croatia at the 2018 FIFA World Cup
Personal information
Date of birth (1966-10-26) 26 October 1966 (age 52)
Place of birth Livno, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Defensive midfielder
Club information
Current team
Croatia (manager)
Youth career
Troglav 1918
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1983–1986 Hajduk Split 4 (0)
1986–1987 Dinamo Vinkovci 12 (0)
1987–1988 Hajduk Split 5 (0)
1988–1989 Budućnost Titograd 7 (0)
1989–1991 Velež Mostar 37 (3)
1992–1996 Varteks 108 (13)
1996–1998 Hajduk Split 28 (1)
1998Varteks (loan) 11 (1)
1998–2000 Varteks 36 (3)
Total 247 (23)
Teams managed
2004 Varteks (caretaker)
2004–2005 Varteks (assistant)
2005–2007 Varteks
2007–2008 Rijeka
2008–2009 Dinamo Tirana
2009–2010 Slaven Belupo
2010–2012 Al-Faisaly
2012–2013 Al-Hilal B
2013 Al-Hilal
2014–2017 Al-Ain
2017– Croatia
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Zlatko Dalić (Croatian pronunciation: [zlâtko dǎːlitɕ];[1][2] born 26 October 1966) is a Croatian football manager and former professional footballer who played as a defensive midfielder. He currently manages the Croatia national team.

He led the national team to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final where they reached their highest-ever Elo ranking (1,973 points) and highest-ever positioning in the history of Croatia, securing second place to France.

Playing career[edit]

During his time as a player, Dalić played for a number of clubs.

He started of his youth career at NK Troglav 1918 Livno before joining HNK Hajduk Split in 1983 and thus starting his senior career. He stayed at Hajduk until 1986 after joining HNK Cibalia which was at that time known as Dinamo Vinkovci.

Apart from Hajduk and Cibalia, Dalić also played for FK Budućnost Podgorica, FK Velež Mostar and Varteks.

He finished his career in 2000 at Varteks.

Coaching career[edit]

Varteks[edit]

After ending his playing career in 2000, he became assistant coach at Varteks. From May 2002 to May 2005, Dalić worked as the club's sports director, and during the 2003–04 and 2004–05 seasons he simultaneously acted as assistant coach for Miroslav Blažević.

In May 2005, he was appointed manager of Varteks and in his first season at the helm he won third place in the Croatian First League and reached the final of the Croatian Football Cup. In the first leg of the final, which was played in Rijeka, Varteks lost 0–4 to HNK Rijeka. In the second leg in Varaždin, Dalić nearly created a sensation leading the team to a 5–1 win, but they were one goal short from lifting the silverware.[3]

Rijeka[edit]

In the summer of 2007, after his contract with Varteks ended, he became manager of HNK Rijeka, and finished fourth at the end of the 2007–08 season. After being knocked out of the 2008 UEFA Intertoto Cup by FK Renova, Dalić was sacked on 1 July 2008 just before the start of the season.[4]

Dinamo Tirana[edit]

In the 2008–09 season, Dalić managed Albanian champions Dinamo Tirana, with whom he won the Albanian Supercup.[5] He resigned in February 2009 after losing two derbies in a row versus fellow capital teams Tirana and Partizani.[6]

Slaven Belupo[edit]

After a short stint in Albania, he returned to Croatia in 2009 and took over his third Croatian football club, NK Slaven Belupo.[7]

Al-Faisaly[edit]

In the 2010–11 season, he became coach of Al-Faisaly (Harmah), a new team in the Saudi Professional League. At the end of the 2010–11 season under Dalić the club enjoyed the greatest success in its history, qualifying for the King's Cup in the Saudi Professional League.[8] He was named Coach of the Year in the Saudi Professional League for the 2010–11 season by Al Riyadh newspapers.[9] In the selection, he beat other more famous coaches working in Saudi Arabia at the time, such as Gabriel Calderón, Walter Zenga and Eric Gerets.

Al-Hilal[edit]

On 3 May 2012, Dalić signed a contract with Al-Hilal to manage Al-Hilal B. On 30 January, Al-Hilal agreed with Dalić to coach the first club following the sacking of Antoine Kombouaré. On 9 February 2013, he made his managerial debut with Al-Hilal against his old club Al-Faisaly in the semi-final of the 2012–13 Saudi Crown Prince Cup. Dalić eventually led Al-Hilal to the cup title - the club's sixth consecutive win - which was also Dalić's second major title in his coaching career. As manager of Al-Hilal, he was ranked 13th best coach in the world, in March 2013 for that month.[10] During the 2013–14 season, he was the main candidate for the position of sports director at Croatian powerhouse HNK Hajduk Split, but turned down the offer from one of the biggest clubs in Croatian football.[11]

Al-Ain[edit]

Dalić managing Al-Ain in AFC Champions League match against Esteghlal.

On 8 March 2014, Dalić was appointed as head coach of Al Ain FC in the United Arab Emirates after the club had sacked Quique Flores.[12] Later on, he led Al Ain to finish top of their group in the AFC Champions League 2014, which was the first time since 2006 that the club progressed through the group stage. On 30 April 2014, Al Ain announced that Dalić would be their head coach for the next two seasons.[13] At the Round of 16 stage of the AFC Champions League 2014, Al-Ain played versus Emirati side Al Jazira Club led by Walter Zenga, and won both games with 4–2 on aggregate to reach the quarter-finals of the competition.

On 18 May 2016, Al-Ain won the final game of UAE President's Cup against league champions Al Ahli 1–0, which was played at the Zayed Sports City Stadium. This was Dalić's second trophy in two years in the Middle East and the third major honour in his coaching career. This game marked the end of the season, and it was Al-Ain's 12th match in a row without defeat since Dalić's arrival.

At the start of the second season in charge of Al-Ain, Dalić's team won both games in the quarter-finals of the AFC Champions League 2014 with results 2–0 and 3–1 against Al Ittihad FC. In the semi-finals, Al-Ain lost the first match versus Dalić's former club Al-Hilal at the King Fahd International Stadium with a 0–3 result. In the second leg of the semi-finals the result was 2–1, and Al-Ain was knocked out.

At the end of the year, Dalić won the title of Best Coach of 2014 by the analyst and pundits of all major local Emirati newspapers. At the end of the first round of the UAE Pro-League, Al–Ain took the first position with one game in hand.[14]

On 6 May 2015, Al–Ain ended the 2015 AFC Champions League group phase topping Group B with 12 points, four points more than runners-up Naft Tehran F.C. without losing a single game. This was Dalić's third consecutive year in the AFC Champions League, and in all three seasons his team proceeded to the play-off phase of the competition.

Al-Ain won their 12th UAE Pro-League title in the 2014–15 UAE Pro-League, which they secured three rounds before the end of the season. At the official end of the league, on 11 May, they had 11 points more than runners-up Al Jazira Club and Al Shabab (Dubai). They lost only two games in the whole season, which meant they had been unbeaten 23 league matches in a row with an impressive goal difference of +43. In this season, they achieved several records of the season - they conceded fewest goals, they had the longest unbeaten run counting 15 matches, the longest winning run counting 8 matches, and the biggest home win versus Ajman Club, 7-1.

On 12 July 2015, Dalić was crowned with the "Coach of the Year" title during the UAE Pro-League Award ceremony for the 2014–15 UAE Pro-League season. Award ceremony was held at the St. Regis Abu Dhabi Corniche.

As a part of the pre-season preparation, Al-Ain on 8 August 2015, played a match versus Wydad Casablanca in a sold-out Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca, Morocco. The match was part of the UAE-Morocco Supercup (also in Arabic media it was named Friendship Cup). Al-Ain won the game after a penalty shoot-out, after regular time ended with a score of 3-3. Winners of the trophy received US$700,000 while runner-up received US$300,000.

First match of the new 2015–16 season was played on 15 August at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. It was a UAE Supercup match between last year's league champions, Al-Ain, and winners of the UAE President Cup, Al Nassr from Dubai. Al-Ain won the match with the result 4–2. This was Dalić's fourth trophy in Al-Ain in two years as their coach.

With the 3–0 win against Al-Ahli Dubai F.C. in the 10th round of the UAE Pro-League on 5 December, Dalić became the best coach in the league's history since it turned professional.[15] After 12 rounds in the 2015–16 season, Dalić's Al-Ain won 47 out of 70 matches under his leadership, drawing 15 and losing 8, which meant that he was unbeated in 88% of the matches. However, it was the 2016 AFC Champions League that saw his reputation, helping Al-Ain to play in the final for the first time since 2005 and only lost to Jeonbuk Motors 2–3 on aggregate.

In the Football Database ranking,[16] Al Ain FC was ranked 335th club in the world with 1468 points in March 2014, but then, since Dalić arrived, the club continuously climbed the rankings and in December 2015 reached 122nd place in the world with 1575 points. In less than two years, club climbed more than 200 places on the rankings and reached 5th best position in Asia according to the rankings.

Croatia[edit]

Zlatko Dalić during a Croatia training session; ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

On 7 October 2017, following the sacking of Ante Čačić due to a series of poor results, the Croatian Football Federation named Dalić as the head coach of the Croatia national football team.[17] Upon arriving, Dalić announced that he would only remain head coach if Croatia qualifies for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and that the HNS would be deciding his future if Croatia miss out on qualifying for the finals.[18]

2018 FIFA World Cup[edit]

On 9 October, Dalić led Croatia to a 2–0 win over Ukraine in 2018 World Cup qualifying, which also secured second place in their group, and a place in the play-off round.[19] On 19 October, Dalić named Ivica Olić, former Croatia international player, as his assistant manager. Croatia drew Greece in the play-off round, and on 9 November, Dalić led the team to a 4–1 first-leg triumph over Greece, all but securing a place in the 2018 World Cup.[20] In the return leg, on 12 November, Croatia drew with Greece 0–0, and won 4–1 on aggregate, thus securing a place in the World Cup finals.[21] Following this, Dalić officially signed a contract with the Croatian Football Federation, running until 30 July 2020, and would reportedly earn around €500k per year.[22]

Croatia drew a challenging group, with the likes of Nigeria, Argentina and Iceland.[23][24] On 16 June 2018, Croatia won their opening match of the 2018 World Cup, beating Nigeria by a scoreline of 2–0.[25] However, during the game, Nikola Kalinić had refused to come on as a late substitute, citing a back injury as his excuse, although he had used this excuse earlier during a friendly match against Brazil, as well as the previous training session.[26] This prompted Dalić to send him home on just the fifth day of the tournament.[27] Dalić stated that he needed "prepared players, while Kalinić didn't show up at three occasions."[28] Dalić received praise for his treatment of Kalinić, with some stating that he had "cemented his position" as a head coach with this decision.[29] On 21 June, Croatia overwhelmed football heavyweights Argentina, beating them by a scoreline of 3–0, with Ante Rebić, Luka Modrić and Ivan Rakitić scoring the goals.[30][31] The victory led Croatia to a spot in the knockout stage for the first time since the 1998 FIFA World Cup, in which they finished third place.[32] On 26 June, Croatia topped their group with maximum points following a 2–1 win over Iceland, and drew Denmark in the round of sixteen, advancing after a penalty shootout.[33][34][35] Croatia again won through a penalty shootout against hosts Russia in the quarter-finals, setting up a semi-final tie against England.[36][37] On 11 July, Croatia beat England 2–1, advancing to the final, where they lost 4–2 to France on 15 July 2018.[38][39] For the achievement, he received the Franjo Bučar State Award for Sport Yearly Award.[40]

Personal life[edit]

Dalić was born in Livno, SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, SFR Yugoslavia, but he lives and works in Croatia, has Croatian citizenship, and comes from a Croatian Catholic family, to father Ivan and mother Kata Dalić. In 1992, he married Davorka Propadalo, with whom he has two sons, Toni and Bruno.[41][42] Dalić is a practising Roman Catholic.[43][44]

Player statistics[edit]

[45]

Club performance League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Yugoslavia League Yugoslav Cup Europe Total
1983-84 Hajduk Split Yugoslav First League 0 0 0 0
1984-85 0 0 0 0
1985-86 4 0 1 0 0 0 5 0
1986-87 Dinamo Vinkovci (loan) 12 0 1 0 13 0
1987-88 Hajduk Split 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1988-89 Budućnost Titograd 7 0 7 0
1989-90 Velež Mostar 24 1 24 1
1990-91 12 2 1 0 13 2
Croatia League Croatian Cup Europe Total
1992–93 Varteks Varaždin Prva HNL 22 2 6 0 13 1
1993–94 32 8 5 1 37 9
1994–95 27 3 5 0 32 3
1995–96 27 0 9 3 36 3
1996–97 Hajduk Split 22 1 1 1 2 0 25 2
1997–98 6 0 1 0 3 0 10 0
Varteks Varaždin (loan) 11 1 2 0 13 1
1998–99 Varteks Varaždin 23 2 3 0 5 0 31 2
1999–00 13 1 2 0 5 0 20 1
Country Yugoslavia 64 3 3 0 0 0 67 3
Croatia 183 18 34 5 15 0 232 23
Total 247 23 37 5 15 0 299 28

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of match played 18 November 2018

[46][47]

Team From To Competition Record
G W D L Win % GF GA +/-
Varteks Varaždin 11 September, 2004 18 September, 2004 Prva HNL 2 1 0 1 050.00 4 3 +1
Varteks Varaždin 20 July, 2005 19 May, 2007 Prva HNL 65 27 8 30 041.54 100 110 -10
Croatian Cup 9 5 2 2 055.56 22 14 +8
UEFA Cup 2 0 1 1 000.00 21 3 -2
UEFA Intertoto Cup 6 2 2 2 033.33 13 13 0
Varteks Varaždin Total 84 35 13 36 041.67 160 143 -17
HNK Rijeka 20 July, 2007 28 Jun, 2008 Prva HNL 33 14 11 8 042.42 53 41 +12
Croatian Cup 2 0 1 1 000.00 4 3 +1
UEFA Intertoto Cup 6 2 2 2 033.33 0 2 -2
HNK Rijeka Total 41 16 14 11 039.02 57 46 +11
Dinamo Tirana 17 August, 2008 4 February, 200 Superliga 19 7 8 4 036.84 23 14 +9
Albanian Cup 3 2 0 1 066.67 5 1 +4
Albanian Supercup 1 1 0 0 100.00 2 0 +2
Dinamo Tirana Total 23 10 8 5 043.48 30 15 +15
Slaven Belupo 9 August, 2009 13 May, 2010 Prva HNL 28 10 10 8 035.71 42 43 -1
Croatian Cup 4 2 0 2 050.00 4 6 -2
Slaven Belupo Total 32 12 10 10 037.50 46 49 -3
Al-Faisaly 15 August, 2010 27 April, 2012 Professional League 52 17 14 21 032.69 75 88 -13
Kings Cup 2 0 0 2 000.00 1 8 -7
Saudi Crown Prince Cup 1 0 0 1 000.00 3 5 -2
Al-Faisaly Total 55 17 14 24 030.91 79 101 -22
Al-Hilal 9 February, 2013 22 May, 2013 Professional League 8 5 2 1 062.50 16 9 +5
Kings Cup 2 1 1 0 050.00 3 4 -1
Saudi Crown Prince Cup 2 1 1 0 050.00 2 1 +1
AFC Champions League 8 4 2 2 050.00 11 9 +2
Al-Hilal Total 20 11 6 3 055.00 32 23 +9
Al-Ain 12 March, 2014 23 January, 2017 Pro-League 93 57 20 16 061.29 187 96 +91
UAE President's Cup 9 4 3 2 044.44 21 8 +13
Arabian Gulf Cup 18 5 5 8 027.78 27 34 -7
UAE Super Cup 2 1 0 1 050.00 4 3 +1
AFC Champions League 33 16 12 5 048.48 52 31 +10
Al-Ain Total 155 83 40 32 053.55 291 217 +74
Croatia 9 October 2017 Present FIFA World Cup 10 6 3 1 060.00 20 10 +10
UEFA Nations League 4 1 1 2 025.00 4 10 -6
Friendly matches 6 3 1 2 050.00 6 7 -1
Croatia Total 20 10 5 5 050.00 30 27 -3
Total 430 194 110 126 045.12 725 621 +104

Honours[edit]

Player[edit]

Club[edit]

Hajduk Split

Manager[edit]

Varteks

Dinamo Tirana

Al-Hilal

Al-Ain

Croatia

Orders[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "dȃlj". Hrvatski jezični portal (in Croatian). Retrieved 17 March 2018. Dálić
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  4. ^ "Zlatko Dalić smijenjen!" [Zlatko Dalić sacked!] (in Croatian). Sportnet.rtl.hr/. 1 July 2008. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
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  28. ^ "Dalić: Trebam spremne igrače, a Kalinić u tri navrata nije bio" (in Croatian). Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  29. ^ "Protjerivanjem Nikole Kalinića izbornik je učvrstio poziciju..." (in Croatian). Retrieved 18 June 2018.
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  34. ^ FIFA.com. "2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ - Matches - Croatia - Denmark - FIFA.com". www.fifa.com. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
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  41. ^ "Detalji iz privatnog života Zlatka Dalića: Otkrivamo što je radio u ratu, što je po struci i gdje je upoznao suprugu". Dnevnik.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 2018-07-14.
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  43. ^ thecatholicuniverse.com
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  46. ^ "Zlatko Dalić managerial statistics". hrnogomet.com. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  47. ^ "UAE statistics". Uaefa.ae. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  48. ^ McNulty, Phil (15 July 2018). "France 4–2 Croatia". BBC. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  49. ^ "News: President Decorates Croatian National Football Team Players and Coaching Staff". Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia. 13 November 2018. Retrieved 13 November 2018. Mr. Zlatko Dalić was awarded the Order of Prince Trpimir with Ribbon and Star ...

External links[edit]